Annotations on a Profitable Enterprise (It Spans the World)

2022

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"This digital collage is made from archival material and photographs taken by the artist staged to look like investigative images. The documents are shaped onto a map of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) from the St. Lawrence River to the West Coast. The work traces the history of the CPR, and its role in the colonization of Canada. It reviews the CPR’s white settler propaganda, its role in mining projects throughout the country, its involvement in tourism and the arts, the history of railway blockades, the abuses that Chinese workers endured while building the railway, and much more. Turning the floor of Union Station into a scattering of historical material, the project uses the visual logic of conspiracy theories to obscure the real history of the CPR, which is hidden in plain sight—a story of capital, extraction, and land dispossession.

The CPR company built Union Station and the Royal York Hotel. Union Station was officially opened in 1927 during a ceremony attended by Edward VIII (then Prince of Wales), King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire, and Emperor of India, as well as the UK Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. Across the street, the Royal York Hotel opened in 1929. Frequented by members of the British monarchy, it was one of Canada’s impressive railway hotels and was the tallest building in the British Empire at the time."

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Annotations on a Profitable Enterprise (It Spans the World)

2022

Digital collage on floor vinyl; 27' x 10'

Commissioned as a site-specific installation as part of I am land that rememberscurated by Maya Wilson-Sanchez

Photos by Toni Hafkensheid